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29.

Julian Pe- 15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it Jerusalem. riod, 4742. is but the third hour of the day.

16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel ;

17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, (saith God,) I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh : and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams :

18 And on my servants and on my hand-maidens I will pour out, in those days, of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath ; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:

20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come :

21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words ; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did, by him, in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know :

23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel

is to what he formerly was, the weak and timid disciple, who
deserted and denied his best friend and gracions master.

The prophecy of Joel was not only applied by St. Peter to
the great effusion of the Holy Spirit; the traditions of the Jews
record its reference to the same event, in the days of the Mes-
siah. Schoetgen quotes on this subject the following para-
grapbs from Tanchuma, fol. 65. 3. and Bammidbar rabba, sect.
15. When Moses placed bis hand upon Josbua, the holy and
blessed God said nin pbrya, that is, in the days of the Old Tes-
tament--one prophet prophesies at one time, butxan obrys, in
the days of the Messiah, all the house of Israel shall prophesy,
as it is said in Joel ii. 48.

Likewise from Midrasch Schochartof in Jalkut Simeoni, part i. fol. 221. 2. and fol. 265. 4. on Numb. xi. 29.

The people assembled therefore at the festival of Pentecost, who were acquainted with this prediction and its traditional interpretation, were now the spectators of its actual fulfilment, and were appealed to both by tradition, by prophecy, and miracle, to acknowledge the divinity of Christ, and the real naturo of his mission. The words “ last days," in ver. 17, is sbewu by Scboetgen to refer to the days of the Messiah, by two references

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Julian Pe- and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked Jerusalem. riod, 47-42. hands have crucified and slain:

24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death : because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face ; for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:

26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope :

27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption".

28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life ; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.

29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.

30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;

31 He seeing this before, spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.

32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.

33 Therefore, being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear 13,

12 Schoetgen remarks on this passage, that in all the Rabbi. nical writers he has never met witb the application of this pas. sage to the Messiah. We have reason, therefore, to suppose it was applied now for the first time. The apostle at the moment of inspiration, when the remembrance of Christ's wonderful resurrection was still fresh in the memory of the people, asserts, by that strongest and most irrefragablo argument, that this prophecy also related to Christ, and was by him alone fulfilled, for “ his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption." The veil(a) that had been so long a period spread over the face of Moses, was now to be gradually withdrawn, and through the Spirit of God spiritual things were to be compared with spiritual.

The expression i ydwood , in ver. 26, in the original is rendered by *na, my glory—this word is often used for •vb), my sool.

(a) Auditores apostoli docuerant, accedente jam testimonio Spiritus sancti, qaod huc usque, velamen Mosis habentes obtectum, nondum perspexerant.-Schoetgen, vol. i. p. 414.

13 Bishop Horsley was of opinion that the cloven tongues remained upon the apostles after they went down among the people. This he thinks is alluded to in the oxpression, “ that which ye now see and hear," vor. 33. If so, another beautiful

Julian Pe- 34 For David is not ascended into the heavens : but Jerusalem.

od, 4742. he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou
Vulgar Æra,
29. on my right hand, .

35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.

36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

their les, Mepeter sale, in the ball re

SECTION V.
Effects of St. Peter's Address.

Acts ii. 37-42.
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in
their heart, and said unto Peter, and to the rest of the
apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be bap-
tized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for
the remission of sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the
Holy Ghost.

39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

40 And with many other words did he testify and ex. hort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized : and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

SECTION VI.
Union of the first converts in the Primitive Church.

Acts ii. 42. to the end.
42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doc-
trine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in
prayers.

43 And fear came upon every soul : and many won-
ders and signs were done by the apostles.

44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;

45 And sold their possessions " and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

analogy exists between the giving of the law to Moses, when
“ the skin of his face shone, while he talked with him," (Exod.
xxxiv. 29, 30.) and the communication of the law to the apos-
tles, when the fire of heaven again rested upon man.

14 That this unbounded liberality was not commanded by St.
Peter, is evident from his address to Ananias, Acts v. 4. And
that it was not intended as a precedent, is equally clear from all

Julian Pe- 46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the Jerusalem.

.: temple, and breaking bread from house to house's, did Valgar Æra,

eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

tbe epistles, in which frequent mention is made between the dis-
tinction of rich and poor, and frequent exhortations to the
wealthy to be rich in good works; but not the least intimation
tbat they were required to sell their possessions. It must
have been a voluntary sacrifice to have made the offering
acceptable.

15 In the opinion of the learned Joseph Mede, the words here
translated “from bouse to house," would have been better ren-
dered "on the house." In his curious dissertation on the
Churches for Christian worship in the apostles' times, he ob-
serves : that the early Christians not having stately structures as
the Church had after the empire became Christian ; were accus-
tomed to assemble in some convenient upper room, set apart
for the purpose, dedicated perhaps by the religious bounty of
the owner to the use of the Church. They were distinguished
by the name 'Avúyrov, or Yuepqov, (an upper room,) and by the
Latins Cænaculum, and were generally the most capacious and
highest part of the dwelling, retired, and next to heaven, as
having no other room above it. Such uppermost places were
chosen even for private devotions (Acts x.9.) There is a tradi-
tion in the Church that the room in which the apostles were in
the habit of assembling, was the same apartment as that in which
their blessed Lord celebrated with them the last passover, and
instituted the mystical supper of his body and blood for the
sacred rite of the Gospel. The same room in which on the day
of his resurrection he came and stood in the midst of his disci.
ples, the doors being shut, and having shewn them his hands
and his feet, said, « Peace be unto you," &c. (John xx. 21.)
The same in which eight days (or the Sunday after,) be appear-
ed in a similar manner to them being together, to satisfy the in-
credulity of Thomas, and to shew him his hands and his feet.
The same hallowed spot where the Holy Gbost descended, im-
parting to them wisdom, faith, and power. The place where
James, the brother of our Lord, was created by the apostles Bi-
shop of Jerusalem : the place where the seven deacons, whereof
St. Stephen was one, were elected and ordained: the place
where the apostles and elders of the Church at Jerusalem held
that council, the pattern of all councils, where the first contro.
verted point was decided : and afterwards the place of this Cæ-
naculum was inclosed with a goodly Church, known by the name
of the Church of Sion, upon whose top it stood, to which St.
Jerome, in bis Epitaphium Paulæ (Epist. 27.) applies those words
of the Psalmist,“ Her foundations are in the holy mountains ;
the Lord loveth the gates of Sion more than all the dwellings of
Jacob," Ps. lxxxvii. 1,2. St. Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem, calls
it the upper Church of the apostles, and he states, “the Holy
Ghost descended upon the apostles in the likeness of fiery
tongnes, here in Jerusalem, in the upper Church of the Apos-
tles." -Cyril Hierosol. Cat. 16. Should the tradition be true,
it is evident that this Cænaculum from the time that our blessed
Saviour first hallowed it, by the institution and celebration
of his mystical supper, was devoted to a place of prayer,
and holy assemblies. And thus perhaps should that tradition,
which the venerable Bede mentions, be understood ; that this
Church of Sion was founded by the apostles: not that they erected
the structure, but that the building from the time it was made a

Julian Pe- 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the peo- Jerusalem. riod, 4742. ple. And the Lord added to the church daily such as VulgarÆra, should be saved. 29.

SECTION VII.
A Cripple is miraculously and publicly healed by St. Peter

and St. John.

Acts iii. 1-11. Julian Pe.

1 Now Peter and John went up together into the temple
43.
Vulgar Æra, at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.
30.

Cænaculum by our Saviour, was by his apostles dedicated to a
house of prayer.

The Greek word var' olkov, used in this passage (ver. 46.)
and rendered in our translation “house to house, may be in-
terpreted like tv oikw, “in the house ;” and we find it is so
rendered both by the Syriac and Arabic, and likewise by the
New Testament in other places, Rom. xvi. 3-5. I Cor. xvi.
19. Coloss. iv. 15. Philemon i. 2. And we, moreover, find this
Cænaculum called Olros, in the second verse of this chapter.
And the same phrase, breaking of bread, is used a little before
in the 420 verse, which is wont to be understood of the commu-
nion of the Eucharist; and by the Syriac interpreter is ex-
pressly rendered by the Greek word fractio eucharistiæ ; and
again at chap. xx. ver. 7, according to that of St. Paul, the
bread which we break, &c. Why should it not then be so used
here? And if this interpretation is admitted, it follows that the
passage in question must be intended to signify, that when the
apostles had performed their daily devotions in the temple, at
the accustomed times of prayer, they immediately retired to
this Cænaculum, or upper room, where, after having celebrated
the mystical banquet of the holy eucharist, they afterwards
took their ordinary and necessary repast with gladness and
singleness of heart. It further proves, that the custom of the
Church to participate the eucharist fasting, and before din-
ner, bad its beginning from the first constitution of the Chris-
tian Church

When we consider even to our own day how many spots tradition has transmitted to us as the scene of some eventful history, I cannot but receive the hypothesis of the excellent Medo as probable, and consistent with reason and Scripture. We know that the oak of Mamre was venerated till the days of Constantine, and can we say it is not probable that the sepulchre of the Son of God—the last room that he visited which he consecrated by his presence after the resurrection, and by the descent of the Holy Spirit, in testimony of his exaltation, should not be commemorated by his devout and faithful followers? Who doubts that Edgar was killed at Corse Castle, or William Rufus in the New Forest? The particular spots where the martyrs were burnt at Canterbury, in Smithfield, and at Oxford, are still pointed out by tradition : and many instances of a similar pature might be collected from the histories of every country. Whence then arises the supposed improbability, that the early Christians would cherish the memory of the wonderful events in which they were so deeply interested (a.)

(a) See the whole Dissertation in Mede's Works, p. 321, &c.

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